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All I have ever sailed on is the medium classes of ship (Freedom of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, couple of Carnival ships about the same size).  I know over time these smaller classes will be a thing of the past.  I think about how the Oasis class is 40% bigger than the Freedom class and it makes me feel uneasy a bit, almost nervous.  Have any of you had a hard time going from the convenience of the smaller ships to the HUGE ships?  I have a hard time with extreme crowds (like concerts and shopping malls during the holidays).  Do the mega ships have that extreme crowd feel?  I usually cruise during times when school is in session to avoid some of that.  What are some of your experiences and thoughts on going from a smaller ship to a mega ship?

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I am jumping from Majesty of the Seas to Harmony of the Seas this fall.

 

I am ready 🙂

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3 minutes ago, Icesk8rReedy said:

 ... Have any of you had a hard time going from the convenience of the smaller ships to the HUGE ships?  ...

 

Only when we want to go to Windjammer for breakfast or lunch.

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I wouldn't call Freedom small. Thats a Mega ship compared to a lot out there. 

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I have been on the Oasis and never once felt overcrowded at all.. some nights I had central park to myself.. and never had an issue getting a table at the windjammer .. now I never sailed on the freedom or mariner.. but I did sail on the majesty and the monarch and now I am hooked on the Oasis class.. can't wait to sail on the Allure next year.  You will be fine.. no overcrowding at all. 🙂

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I know others will disagree with me but I’m not a mega ship fan.  The crowds can be overwhelming, especially when waiting for an elevator.  We often have to wait 10-15 minutes in the evening.  It also doesn’t feel like you’re on a cruise.  On the smaller ship, you can walk around the ship and be able to look out a window to see the ocean but that’s not so on mega ships.  I do enjoy the extra activities, especially the Aqua Theater but prefer smaller ships.

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I was stationed on an aircraft carrier in the Navy so the really large ships had me a bit leery of sailing on them. I was always open to the idea if the price was right, but nonetheless I did have reservations. Last year the price was right on an Anthem sailing for this year so we booked it. I can say that for the most part my concerns were never realized and we had a great time (even though Anthem is actually larger than the carrier that I was on). I would put Anthem at the top of all of the ships we've sailed with no hesitation at all. Yes, there were times when it felt "crowded", after a main show got done, on the Esplanade in the evening between seating times, in the Windjammer during meal times (but surprisingly only sometimes, there were still times when Windjammer itself wasn't that busy). My concern about not feeling the ship move when underway were even not realized as Anthem did move quite a bit more than I expected (although not as much as a smaller cruise ship). So if the chance arises regarding price and itinerary I'd say go and give it a try. You'll still have fun and if it turns out big ships aren't your cup of tea then you at least won't have to play "what if". I still prefer the smaller ships for other reasons but am no longer concerned with booking on a big ship if the price is right.

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We LOVE the mega ships. I think the smaller ships actually feel more crowded than the larger ones. Because of the neighborhood design, it spreads everyone out. Also, making reservations helps with crowd control. The first time we sailed on Oasis I was very overwhelmed with having to make reservations for everything. Now, I prefer it. The only times you will feel the crowd is embarkation day before rooms open up, sea days at the pool & when shows let out at the elevators closest to the theater. It is easy to avoid these situations. There are several spots to "hide away". We always walk down to the aft elevators after shows as they are not as crowded when shows let out. Also we avoid WJ during peak meal times. I say at least give it a try! You won't know if you like it until you do.

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Just now, RazorbackIslandGirl said:

We LOVE the mega ships. I think the smaller ships actually feel more crowded than the larger ones. Because of the neighborhood design, it spreads everyone out. Also, making reservations helps with crowd control. The first time we sailed on Oasis I was very overwhelmed with having to make reservations for everything. Now, I prefer it. The only times you will feel the crowd is embarkation day before rooms open up, sea days at the pool & when shows let out at the elevators closest to the theater. It is easy to avoid these situations. There are several spots to "hide away". We always walk down to the aft elevators after shows as they are not as crowded when shows let out. Also we avoid WJ during peak meal times. I say at least give it a try! You won't know if you like it until you do.

Reservations is one of those things that I don't get. We had reservations and still showed up 30 minutes before the doors opened in order to make sure that we got a good seat, which is exactly what we'd do if we didn't have reservations in the first place. Seems like a lot of effort on the part of the cruise line (having and maintaining the reservation system, having staff available to check the reservations, etc.) for very little in return.

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Oasis class will generally feel less crowded.  So crowding is not something to worry about.  I have found the buffet on just about any ship a zoo during peak breakfast/lunch times.  Oasis class isn't too much different in that respect.  However, they do have a good layout that keeps the crowds down at the stations and if you just go a tad earlier or a tad later, getting a table is a non-issue.

 

The ship itself won't feel all that much bigger than the smaller ships.  It's just wider and not much longer.  Ships aren't that wide to begin with so it's trivial.  We generally think we do less walking on Oasis class than smaller ships because of the way it's laid out.

 

The overall experience is there is more to do, less crowding, more entertainment, bigger/soaring spaces and generally more comfortable than the smaller ships.

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3 minutes ago, sparks1093 said:

Reservations is one of those things that I don't get. We had reservations and still showed up 30 minutes before the doors opened in order to make sure that we got a good seat, which is exactly what we'd do if we didn't have reservations in the first place. Seems like a lot of effort on the part of the cruise line (having and maintaining the reservation system, having staff available to check the reservations, etc.) for very little in return.

 

Except you won’t get in 30 minutes beforehand without a reservation. You would have to join the “standby” line, which doesn’t open up until 10 minutes before show time and some venues can be pretty full by then. Comedy Club, for example, is usually full and only a few, if any, make it from the standby line. 

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7 minutes ago, Grandma Dazzles said:

 

Except you won’t get in 30 minutes beforehand without a reservation. You would have to join the “standby” line, which doesn’t open up until 10 minutes before show time and some venues can be pretty full by then. Comedy Club, for example, is usually full and only a few, if any, make it from the standby line. 

I understand that, but if I'm going to show up 30 minutes before the doors open in any event then reservations gets me nothing and I fail to see what it provides for the cruise line. The only reservations system itself seems to be a waste of time and resources.

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Ossis class ships feel less crowded to us, maybe because there are many other places to go such as boardwalk, Central Park and such.  Never did we feel a crowd, except for the first few hours of embarkation and the one or two hour sale one day from the ships on the promenad.  No crowded feeling, always was able to find a seat at any bar.

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I too do not think of the Freedom class as a medium size ship.  I still remember being on the Rhapsody and being docked next to the new Freedom of the Seas in Cozumel and looking into cabins on the Freedom from the top deck of the Rhapsody.  The Freedom was huge!

 

Even though I seem to be spending lots of time on Voyager and Freedom class ships these days, the even smaller ships have a warmer spot in my heart.  I think after five cruises on Oasis class ships (No one can say I haven't given them a fair shot), I am over these when it comes to future cruises.

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1 hour ago, Icesk8rReedy said:

Have any of you had a hard time going from the convenience of the smaller ships to the HUGE ships?

we didn't. We have just sailed on the Allure, and didn't find it more crowded than a regular ship (see my signature for details) unless you tried to get into Windjammer during peak eating times. So, we went to the Solarium Buffet (breakfast and lunch) instead.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, BNBR said:

The ship itself won't feel all that much bigger than the smaller ships. 

Allure compared to the 2 Carnival ships (I think  Fascination was one of them). All the way to the left - I believe it was a smaller RCI ship, like Navigator. We still didn't think the Allure was too huge for us. It certainly had A LOT more fun things to do than Norwegian Jade. 

20190401_143348.jpg

Edited by Itchy&Scratchy

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1 hour ago, sparks1093 said:

I understand that, but if I'm going to show up 30 minutes before the doors open in any event then reservations gets me nothing and I fail to see what it provides for the cruise line. The only reservations system itself seems to be a waste of time and resources.

 

Then don't show up 30 minutes early.  We show up about 15 minutes early, with reservations, and get great seats since all the standby folks are still in line.  The bar is also not busy yet so we walk in with our reservations, grab a drink, find a great seat, and relax.  If you want to show up super early, then that's on you.  I personally love the reservations. It's pleasant to just walk up and right in without having to worry about a crowd, and get good seats. 

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35 minutes ago, BNBR said:

 

Then don't show up 30 minutes early.  We show up about 15 minutes early, with reservations, and get great seats since all the standby folks are still in line.  The bar is also not busy yet so we walk in with our reservations, grab a drink, find a great seat, and relax.  If you want to show up super early, then that's on you.  I personally love the reservations. It's pleasant to just walk up and right in without having to worry about a crowd, and get good seats. 

Didn't say that I hated them, just don't understand the need for them.

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We've sailed on every class of RCL ship, from Majesty to Harmony, and the most crowded we ever felt was on Majesty. The Oasis class is much larger, but there are so many more areas to "spread out" that it is probably the least crowded ship we've ever been on. As for the windjammer, as long as you don't try to go when everyone else is going (i.e. noon-1:00 for lunch, or 7:30-8:00 for breakfast) it is usually not crowded. There are a lot of other breakfast and lunch options available - Park Café, Solarium Bistro, etc.

 

Ironically, the most crowded we ever felt on any ship was on the old Sky Princess (SS Fairsky) to Alaska, and that ship only carried ~1,000 passengers.

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I was on Harmony and was uncertain, pre-cruise, of some of the same things/ issues.  I have to say, I LOVED Harmony and never felt crowded, although I did not eat in the WJ....lol.  Had an easier time finding pool chairs than on some of the other ships!  I would not hesitate to sail on Harmony again!  Go with an open mind, and I am sure you will have a fabulous time!!

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We love the mega ships!  We have never felt crowded either except for peak times in the Windjammer, which we try to avoid going to at all, or in the Promenade on formal night when everyone is trying to get their picture taken.  There is just so much to do and see that everyone spreads out throughout the ship.

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3 hours ago, sparks1093 said:

Reservations is one of those things that I don't get. We had reservations and still showed up 30 minutes before the doors opened in order to make sure that we got a good seat, which is exactly what we'd do if we didn't have reservations in the first place. Seems like a lot of effort on the part of the cruise line (having and maintaining the reservation system, having staff available to check the reservations, etc.) for very little in return.

 

If you don’t have reservations for the show, then you aren’t allowed in until 10-15 min before show time...no matter what time you got in line.

 

So by making reservations you are allowed in when the doors open...

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4 hours ago, fsjosh said:

I wouldn't call Freedom small. Thats a Mega ship compared to a lot out there. 

When Sovereign(Majesty) first launched was labeled First "Mega Ship". Was also largest Cruise ship in the World. Hard to tell what is small, med, large, Mega anymore

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4 hours ago, sparks1093 said:

Reservations is one of those things that I don't get. We had reservations and still showed up 30 minutes before the doors opened in order to make sure that we got a good seat, which is exactly what we'd do if we didn't have reservations in the first place. Seems like a lot of effort on the part of the cruise line (having and maintaining the reservation system, having staff available to check the reservations, etc.) for very little in return.

I think the reasoning behind that is for crowd control. Because they only allow a certain number of people in per show it keeps people spread out on the ship. Between dinning schedules & show times they do a good job of assuring no area of the ship is over crowded. I know it is a hassle to have to do that much planning for a vacation but, I feel it is worth it once on board.

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42 minutes ago, ONECRUISER said:

When Sovereign(Majesty) first launched was labeled First "Mega Ship". Was also largest Cruise ship in the World. Hard to tell what is small, med, large, Mega anymore

I remember thinking the Monarch was HUGE!😂 I was totally amazed at the size!

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